s: hello, everyone. welcome to cbn friday special, i’m stephanie li.
k: and i’m kathy jia.
s: hey, kathy, what have you been listening to the whole morning? i heard you humming a very familiar tune...... hmm, is it “childhood” by the pop legend lo ta-yu?
k: yes! did you watch his concert on wechat the other day? many of my friends shared it on wechat moments and sparked a wave of nostalgia, and they are all saying the same thing: the virtual concert really brought back many happy memories in their childhood.
s: i did. at 8 pm on may 27th, lo sat in front of his piano and played a piece based on his hit song, red dust, which was featured in the popular chinese movie of the same title in 1990. this opened lo's first virtual concert. along with his band members, lo sang 20 of his songs for nearly two hours, including childhood, dream, love song 1980 and love song 1990. and i remember him saying that "childhood was not written for children. it was for adults." it really struck me. the veteran singer-songwriter has captured the hearts of chinese music lovers for decades, gathering a large fan base especially among people born in the 1970s and '80s. he ended the virtual concert with his song, tomorrow will be better, hoping to provide a sense of comfort and hope to people amid the pandemic.
but i had to switch back and forth between wechat and the popular short-video platform douyin, because there’s another concert going on at the very same time! singaporean singer-songwriter stefanie sun also launched her online program via douyin. the 44-year-old singer rose to fame after releasing her debut self-titled album in 2000. compared to lo, sun's fans are people born in the 1980s and '90s.
k: oh yeah, it’s indeed a tough choice. it was not the first time that sun gave an online show. she has been engaging with her fans through online concerts since the pandemic started. and during her online concert on friday night, which was unlike her live concerts in indoor venues, usually well-choreographed with stage set and a list of songs, sun asked the viewers to choose their favourite songs of hers and she performed them with a live band. she also talked to the viewers casually, which made the night relaxed and spontaneous. sun had her online show in a rehearsal room. she performed her hits, such as believe, kite and encounter.
s: lo’s virtual concert, which was streamed on chinese social media platform, wechat, attracted more than 40 million viewers during the two-hour performance. nostalgic fans left real-time comments while watching the concert, expressing their excitement and their love for lo, a cultural icon of their youth. since the platforms calculated viewing results differently, douyin counted the total views of sun's event to be more than 240 million by 9:30pm. wechat counted that lo's show has attracted somewhere around 41 million viewers by 11:50 pm.
k: you’re right, the pandemic has undoubtedly brought enormous interest to virtual concerts, where the audience tries to regain a sense of community, and performers make up for canceled gigs. during the past two years, online concert has grown at a fast pace. according to an online music industry report released in march by iresearch, a leading provider of online audience measurement and consumer insights in china, the number of online concert viewers in march 2020 rose to 150 million, an increase of 30 percent compared to october 2019. in december 2020, the number of online concert viewers rose to 190 million.
for example, the popular irish boy band westlife held their first virtual concert through wechat on dec 17th last year, which attracted 27.9 million viewers. on april 15, when chinese rock legend cui jian and his band performed online for the first time, more than 40 million people tuned in, which set a record for online concerts on chinese social media platforms.
s: when the pandemic hit in 2020, the sudden necessity of live-streamed performances created a rush of attention from music lovers, who were spending much more time at home. live-streamed concerts are leading the music scene this year in particular with the fast development of technology supporting online concerts and providing viewers with immersive experiences. besides new live performances produced for online viewers exclusively, there is also re-screening of past concerts of pop stars, which is receiving warm feedback from fans.
for instance, on april 1, hong kong pop legend leslie cheung's last concert of his passion tour in 2000 was remastered by using artificial intelligence and streamed online by tencent music entertainment group (tme), which attracted about 17 million viewers. on may 20 and 21, two concerts by pop icon jay chou－from chou's 2012 ferris wheel tour and 2019 strongest on the surface tour－were rescreened through online platforms under tme, attracting over 70 million viewers in total.
k: and between the two major platforms hosting virtual concerts, wechat and douyin, competitions are getting fierce. wechat channels’ daily active users (dau) have topped 500 million in 2021, a 78 percent growth year on year. wechat has a user base that falls between douyin and kuaishou, and because the wechat platform is built around social interaction, it will continue to grow.
s: i agree. many people initially regarded it as another tencent’s attempt to create a short video application, but more people are now realising it's not that simple. when asked about video online, wechat founder zhang xiaolong responded that what they want to do is infrastructure, and later wechat gives a more official description called "atomisation components," which actually means what they want to do is not a video account link with the outside world, but a content carrier within the wechat ecosystem. "video account orientation is a way of life since the future of video accounts should be an organised form that can be tagged and engaged with,” he said.
k: that’s true. this kind of social relationship is also what douyin wants. previously, douyin added the "friend" column to strengthen the social interaction of acquaintances based on the address list, while the "nearby" column is intended to promote the social interaction of strangers based on the location relationship. in 2021, zhang nan, ceo of byte dance china, said that douyin is gradually changing its theme from entertainment to social life and then to a lifestyle. coincidentally, the slogan of wechat is "wechat is a lifestyle".
s: according to market estimates, it only took 4 years for douyin to build up a dau of about 500 million from 2016 to 2020. and when the market of short video became relatively stable, wechat channels came back aggressively. but douyin has already become very mature in terms of algorithm and commercialisation, and wechat channels is only up and coming.
there’s still a huge problem with profitability of online concerts. at present, platforms are still in exploration in how to make a profit out of online concerts. the more common ones include brand sponsorship, online ticket sales and selling merchandise. for example, both lo ta-yu and cui jian used automobile brands as sponsors in their concerts. jay chou's online concert made a huge profit by selling merchandise.
k: in fact, online concerts are still far away from most musicians. according to the 2021 chinese musicians report released by the communication university of china, up to 92.26% of musicians have never participated in this kind of online activity.
the main reason is that in view of the current market, only a very small amount of musicians are likely to be sponsored. at the same time, the difference between offline and online actual experience is enormous, it is difficult for infamous singers to implement the online model. the report also shows that 33.27% of the musicians' main source of income is music performance, which is a difficult goal for online concerts at present.
s: well, that’s a whole different story for another discussion. perhaps we could dig a little deeper about it some other time. that’s it for today, see you next week.
据微信官方数据，去年12月，西城男孩的线上演唱会观看人次超过2700万，最高同时在线人数高达150万；随后，视频号策划了五月天线上演唱会，据tme live 数据显示，一小时内超过了3500万人观看直播；2022年线上直播演唱会开始更加频繁，今年4月15日，崔健微信号累计观看人数累计高达6370万人次。
根据视灯研究院发布《2021年视频号发展白皮书》数据，2021年视频号dau（daily active user 日活跃用户）已超5亿，较2020年增长了79%，人均使用时长超过35分钟，较2020年增长84%，2022年有望达到6亿。
executive editor: sonia yu
editor: li yanxia
host: stephanie li
writer: stephanie li, jia yuxiao, mao ziqi
sound editor: xie kaishan
graphic designer: zheng wenjing, liao yuanni
co-produced by 21st century business herald dept. of overseas news & sfc audio/video dept.
presented by sfc
21世纪经济报道海外部 南财音视频部 联合制作